Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Monday

It's Monday, the weekend's over, and the excitement is gone. Mondays are like that sometimes. At least my work day is over and now there are only four more work days until the next weekend.

It's not that I don't enjoy my job--I do. It's just that I'd rather play. I sure wish someone would pay me to play. Yvonne--at least I think it was Yvonne in one of her kinder moments (LOL!)--said I should design quilts. Yep, I'd love to do that but I'm pretty sure no one's going to pay me the money I'd need to pay my bills every month. At least not for a long time, even assuming I could do it successfully. Beside, so often when you HAVE to do what you love in order to make a living at it, it becomes less joyful. So, I guess I'll keep plugging along at my day job. Four days left until the weekend. Did I mention that?!

So, for some reason, I don't feel like I have a whole lot to say today. Most sane bloggers would have just not bothered with a post, but I feel compelled. And I'm probably not sane anyway. But then you know that, right?!

When I was thinking about what I could share with you in my totally uninspired mood, I remembered that some time back, I wanted to talk about quilt show challenges. Have you ever entered a quilt show challenge? Did you enjoy it? Hate it? Never finish the project?

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the idea. On the one hand, I'm usually not thrilled with whatever theme and/or fabric my guild choses each year. On the other hand, by participating, I'm usually pushed outside of my quilting comfort zone, and I think that's a good thing. If you don't have the opportunity to participate in a formal quilt show challenge, then I'd challenge you to pick a fabric and/or type of quilting that really doesn't appeal to you much and do something with it. With Christmas coming up, even if the project ends up being something that doesn't fit your personality, surely you know someone who would love a quilted Christmas gift!

I have two quilt show challenges I participated in that I'd like to share with you. Here's a photo of the first finished wallhanging:

See that fabric I used in the tulips? The challenge was that we each were given a fat quarter of this hideous--to me--streaky rainbow fabric. I cut mine up and used it in the tulip petals, leaves, and vase as well as some of the ivy leaves. My friend Karen used it in the wings of a butterfly, which were then outlined in black bias strips--stained glass style. It was truly beautiful, and she won the challenge, but I did manage to get a ribbon in the appliqued wallhanging category.

When we were first given the challenge fabric, it took me awhile to decide what I could possibly do with that ugly stuff, but I'm very pleased with the result. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box. Here's another photo of a "surprise" that lurks under the curtains of this wallhanging:

And there's a little story I made up to go with this quilt. The cat--who looks very composed and serene when its "person" walks in the door from work, had been chasing the mouse earlier and knocked over the vase full of tulips.

The second quilt show challenge I wanted to share is this wallhanging (click on it to enlarge to see the various fruits and veggies better):

The challenge was to use the rusty fall fabric that I used as an inner border. I failed miserably since that fabric just doesn't fit with the rest of the wallhanging, and it really doesn't show up well. But it was a fun wallhanging/tablerunner to make. I had taken a class with Velda Newman earlier in the year and learned to do things like make cantaloupes with painted fabric and cheesecloth, so I took some of her ideas and ran with them. Believe it or not, this wallhanging only took a couple days to make from start to finish.

The quilt show theme that year was "Cornucopia of Quilts," which is where I got the idea for the fruits and vegetables. And making something like this--about as far from traditional quilt design as I've ever strayed--was somehow extremely liberating!

Check out my Horn of Plenty--I know you can't see it well in the other photo. Kind of scary in a weird, bizarre sort of way!

So, my point is that we can all use a good challenge now and then. Don't stick just to what feels safe to you. Sometimes, by moving outside your comfort zone, you learn things about yourself and your quilting that you may never have realized otherwise. Although I don't think I'll ever give up traditional quilting to become an "art" quilter, making the occasional art-type piece is fun!


atet said...

Great quilts! I'm catching up on my blog reading and boy have you been busy! The monster is done! (and no longer a monster) and your Hometown Christmas is coming along a treat! I love the modifications you are making. Great work -- even if you did have to go back to the job!

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

For the blog you really didn't want to have , that was quite a long one!! I really like the tulips, but then, I really like tulips.
And take it from me, it is no fun sewing paid stuff, takes all the creative fun out of it, orders only weigh down the soul! Tracey

Eileen said...

WOW, Kim what a blog.Gave me another idea also.
I think you are so right about doing something you love as a job. It gets to be just that, a job. Not fun any more. Now when it becomes fun is when you retire with enough money coming in every month not to work but stay home and play. Then you can really be creative. LOL Keep up the good work.

In case you bloggers who aren't Hollow members, don't Know ,we have been telling Kim she could sell here designs for a good while.

Yvonne said... was me. I can too be "nice".
I love the face in the horn. I'll say it are so creative....the mouse is cute but did I tell you...I hate mice.
I would be paralized by a challenge...just wouldn't know what to do.

Sharon said...

Again I'll say, when did you get so creative??? Your little quilts are beautiful. You do nice applique work. I'm jealous!!!

Carole said...

Yea, I stay away from challenges. Only because I don't know if I'll have the time to commit. I have so many projects going. But hey, they are gettingd one little by little. I haven't seen a challenge that I'm interested in yet. Another way to help you "think outside the box" is to work in a quilt store. Talk about expanding my colour choice! Some people have different colour combinations! Oh well, thanks for sharing!